WorkPac Pty Ltd v Rossato [2020] FCAFC 84 (20 May 2020) (Bromberg, White and Wheelahan JJ)


Catchwords:


INDUSTRIAL LAW – application by an employer for declarations that an employee could not claim the National Employment Standards entitlements to paid annual leave, personal/carer’s leave and compassionate leave because he was a casual employee within the meaning of ss 86, 95 and 106 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (the FW Act), and could not claim the corresponding entitlements under the applicable enterprise agreement because he was a “Casual Field Team Member” (casual FTM) – consideration of the character of the employee’s employment – consideration of the expression “firm advance commitment” used in some authorities in relation to casual employment – employee not a casual employee for the purposes of the FW Act or a casual FTM under the enterprise agreement.

RESTITUTION – employer paid employee at a flat hourly rate in accordance with contracts of employment, which the employer claimed included an identifiable casual loading – employer claimed that if the Court found that the employee was not a casual employee for the purposes of the FW Act or a casual FTM under the enterprise agreement, it was entitled to restitution of the casual loading as the employee was unjustly enriched – employer sought restitution on the grounds of mistake and failure of consideration – restitution not available.

INDUSTRIAL LAW – employer claimed that if the Court found that the employee was not a casual employee for the purposes of the FW Act or a casual FTM under the enterprise agreement, it was entitled to bring into account amounts it paid to him as remuneration against the entitlements he claimed – whether the employer was entitled to have some portion of its payments of remuneration to the employee brought into account in discharge of its obligations to pay the entitlements he claimed – consideration of when an employer’s payments made under contract to an employee may operate to discharge its statutory obligations to the employee – employer’s payments of wages were not for the purpose of discharging statutory obligations to give the employee paid leave entitlements – consideration of reg 2.03A of the Fair Work Regulations 2009 (Cth) – employer not entitled to bring amounts into account.